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Railroad Creek

Difficult

Trail

4.1 mile 6.6 kilometer point to point
Singletrack
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 102' 31 m
Descent: -2,224' -678 m
High: 7,345' 2,239 m
Low: 5,223' 1,592 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 11% (6°)
Max Grade: 38% (21°)

Dogs

Unknown
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Map Key

Trail shared by Lance Pysher

A route finding challenge.

Lance Pysher

This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because our research has found there is no legal access.

Electric Mountain Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Description

This trail was nearly obliterated by the fires of 2000, but thanks to a lot of trail clearing, it's starting to come back. With continued attention to get the trail ridden back in, and if we can figure out a way to either make the bottom bushwack escape or the official creek bottom trail pleasant, this trail could make a spectacular loop with Weasel Creek Trail and Polecat. Make sure you have your GPS or cell phone handy, or better yet find someone who has been here before. As much as this trail needs more traffic, it is currently a great invitation for getting lost. The trail is more fun than this description makes it seem, just be prepared.

Like many of our trails, this one is an unpleasant climb and works best as a downhill, so coming over from Weasel Creek Trail on 313 there is finally a cairn and a handwritten sign to mark the start of the trail. The start of the trail is starting to look like a trail again and is initially fairly easy to find. If in doubt, look for half buried water bars. They are frequent and as annoying as they can be, they let you know you are in the right spot.

As you enter the burn, the trail becomes harder to find and steeper. Have fun looking for the trail as you weave your way down through the rocks. At the bottom of the first decent the trail peters out, as it will several more times along the way. In general the trail will follow the ridgeline.

While the trail appears and disappears time and again in the first mile, keeping on route the first mile or so has never seemed too challenging, but about a mile in the trail curves up and around a sub ridge then disappears and then again a short while later while crossing a marshy area. In both cases, continue to head generally west.

The next route finding challenge occurs when the trail reenters the forest. I wish i could describe where to go here other than look around, it's out there. From here on out, the route finding becomes more obvious and the trail even more enjoyable. Enjoy until you approach the creek bottom.

Officially, the trail continues along the creek bottom, and if you catch it right, the bottom mile can be a blast, but other than during the brief window between spring runoff and summer overgrowth the bottom can be miserable, so we usually opt to bushwhack to an old Forest Service around above the creek (see map symbol). There is no trail, so use you GPS or map to figure out how to climb out. It will be steep and loose.

Biked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Features, Electic Mountain Bikes Allowed

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Check-Ins

Oct 26, 2018
Will Harber
excellent!

Stewarded By


Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#15527

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Trail Rankings

#221

in Montana

#15,527

Overall
3 Views Last Month
167 Since Nov 4, 2014
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Photos

Sunset climb
Nov 4, 2014 near Hamilton, MT
Back in the trees on Railroad Creek trail
Nov 4, 2014 near Hamilton, MT
Old burn and new bear grass
Nov 4, 2014 near Hamilton, MT

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